Bob Lamey spent much of the last 35 years serving as the play-by-play voice of the Indianapolis Colts on radio before announcing his retirement on Sunday.
It turns out there may have been an impetus for the retirement announcement.
According to Jennie Runevitch of 13 WTHR, a radio employee accused Lamey of using a racial slur in the days preceding the announcement.
The employee said Lamey was telling a story about his time working at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a conversation Lamey had at the track.
“He had asked me if the mics were off and I said, ‘Yeah, I turned everything off. You’re fine’,” the employee recalled. “Bob Lamey’s describing this person saying he was asked in an interview, ‘Do you think anyone’s holding back their speed at [Indianapolis Motor Speedway] during quals? Do you think anyone’s holding back?’ And that person had replied ‘There aren’t any ‘blank’ in this race.”
“Blank,” in this instance, was the n-word.
The accusation was substantiated by a statement by Lamey’s attorney to Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star Tuesday night acknowledging that Lamey had used “an inappropriate word” in the retelling of a story to a friend off-air.
“It should be noted that Bob does want to acknowledge that while repeating a story whole off-the-air last week to a friend at a local radio station, he used an inappropriate word that had been used in the story,” attorney James H. Voyles said. “Bob immediately apologized to the people involved for the comment and would hope that this error in judgment would not tarnish his long-held reputation in the sports community where he has been known as an accurate and passionate reporter.”
The employee filed a complaint with the human resources department at Emmis Communications, which followed up with the Colts about the incident.
“No legend. No person you look up to uses that kind of hurtful language at all,” she said. “It made me sick to my stomach.”
The statement from Lamey’s attorney also denied that Lamey was fired by the Colts.